Truckie says brakes failed

Isis Town and Country - - News -

A 56-YEAR-old truck driver ac­cused of dan­ger­ous op­er­a­tion of a mo­tor ve­hi­cle caus­ing death has told the court the brakes on his truck failed, caus­ing him to smash into and run over the top of a ute on the Bruce Hwy.

Tris­tan Wan­rooy was a pas­sen­ger in the ute, trav­el­ling be­hind a Rich­ers truck and in front of Maxwell John Rice’s Lind­say Broth­ers truck.

Mr Wan­rooy was killed in the Novem­ber 21, 2012 crash.

“I saw the Rich­ers’ brake lights come on, then the ute ap­plied its brakes and I put my foot on the brake pedal and noth­ing hap­pened so I gave it a cou­ple of pumps and still noth­ing hap­pened. It was get­ting closer so I reefed the hand brake piece on to try and pull the trailer up,” Rice said.

“I was get­ting closer and closer and then I pulled the steer­ing wheel to the left.

“The truck grabbed the left hand cor­ner of the ute and went over the ute.”

The court heard Rice had phoned a work col­league to see about get­ting the brakes on his truck checked about an hour be­fore the crash.

“I felt as though the brakes were a bit spongy,” he said.

Mr God­bolt asked his client if at that point he had any con­cern that to keep driv­ing was an un­safe thing to do. Rice replied “no”. The court also heard from Trans­port Main Roads in­spec­tor Mark Wil­liams, who in­spected the truck af­ter the crash.

Mr God­bolt asked Mr Wil­liams about the test re­sult that showed the prime mover’s third axel had no break­ing force what­so­ever.

“Foot to the floor... the wheels on those ax­els just spin?” he asked.

“Yes, they may as well not have been there,” Mr Wil­liams an­swered.

The court heard Rice was not qual­i­fied or re­spon­si­ble for main­tain­ing the brakes on the Lind­say Broth­ers trucks.

The trial con­tin­ues.

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